Yellow Watchman Goby
Yellow Watchman Goby

Yellow Watchman Goby

Cyrptocentrus cinctus

Yellow Watchman Goby
Yellow watchman goby - Picture by oldhead

Common name: Yellow Shrimp Goby, Banded Prawn Goby, Gold Shrimp Goby
Scientific name: Cryptocentrus cinctus
Max size: 3 in / 7.5 cm
pH: 8.1-8.4
Salinity: 1.020-1.025
Temperature: 75°F - 82°F (25°C - 28°C)

The Yellow watchman goby is just as the name suggests yellow. The front half of the body features small white spots on the yellow background. The Yellow watchman goby is a type of shrimp goby and the name watchman alludes to the symbiotic relationship it forms with some species of pistol shrimps. The Yellow watchman goby acts as a watchman for a nearly blind shrimp signalling it when there is danger around. The shrimp digs the burrow that the shrimp and the goby live in. The shrimp uses its antennas to communicate with the goby. The relationship is beneficial to both the shrimp and the Yellow watchman goby as both reduces their risk of being eaten by a predator.

The Yellow watchman goby is a hardy species that is very suitable for beginners and it can be recommended to anyone who wants to keep their first saltwater aquarium. It is easy to care for and friendly towards other species that are not too similar to the Yellow watchman goby.  It should never be kept with aggressive species such as triggers. It is hard to keep more than one pair in a small aquarium due to aggression. The Yellow watchman goby appreciates to be kept with Alpheus shrimps but shrimps are not necessary as long as the fish is provided enough hiding places.

The Yellow watchman goby originates form the eastern part of the Indian Ocean and the western part of the Pacific Ocean between Singapore and Micronesia.

Yellow Watchman Goby care and aquarium setup

A single Yellow watchman goby can be kept in a 10 gallon / 40 litre aquarium but if you want to keep several gobies or other fish as well you should choose an aquarium of at least 30 gallon / 120 litre. The aquarium should be decorated with a lot of hiding places as well as open areas. PVC pipes can be hidden among rocks and in the bottom substrate to create suitable burrows for the gobies.

The yellow watchman goby prefers a "deep" substrate bed containing sand and rubble as it likes to dig. If they are kept with pistol shrimps the shrimps might dig out a burrow in the sand for the goby and the shrimp to live in, but providing them (goby and shrimp) with finished burrows made out of PVC pipes is usually a better option in an aquarium. Yellow watchman gobies get very stressed if they are not provided with enough hiding places.

This goby species does very well in reef aquariums and is considered reef safe. Like many other gobies they are good jumpers and the tank should be well covered to prevent them from jumping to their deaths.

Ideal water conditions for the Yellow watchman goby are pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025 and temperature 75°F - 82°F (25°C - 28°C).

Feeding Yellow Watchman Goby

The yellow watchman goby is easy to feed and accepts marine flake food. They are carnivores and should be feed a varied high protein diet. The diet can be based around vitamin enriched flake food that is complemented with sinking shrimp pellets and chopped sea food. This fish should be feed 2-3 times a day. The Yellow watchman goby is a slow eater so it is important that you make sure that it gets enough to eat in the aquarium. 

Breeding Yellow Watchman Goby

Yellow watchman gobies are hard to sex but the females are often a little rounder. This species can be bred in aquariums if a pair is kept together in a stress free aquarium. Good water quality is important for breeding this fish. Provide the pair with suitable breeding spots, such as a narrow cave that is just big enough for the parents to squeeze themselves into. The fry are sensitive and need small food to eat.

Goby Articles:

Orangespotted Shrimp Goby – Amblyeleotris guttata
Pinkspotted Shrimp Goby – Cryptocentrus leptocephalus
Randall's Shrimp Goby – Amblyeleotris randalli
Yellow Clown Goby – Gobiodon okinawae
Yellow Watchman Goby – Cyrptocentrus cinctus


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